Getting REALLY desperate: baby hijacks our evenings

(133 Posts)
TrixieLox Fri 20-Sep-13 08:03:14

I really thought this would resolve itself by 3 months but it seems to be getting worse: my 15 week old baby girl simply will not settle from the time she has her bath etc to about 9pm or 10pm. My hubby and I have to take it in turns to have dinner and just can't relax. The last straw came last night when I went to cinema and came home to find my hubby hadn't eaten dinner cos our daughter had played up all evening.

By playing up, I mean she either cries or yelps in excitement, trying to get our attention and refusing to sleep.

We've tried everything: putting her in her crib upstairs (she screams hysterically so we have her downstairs in her vibrating chair or sitting on us), starting her bedtime routine earlier / later (yes, she has a routine: naked kickaround, story, bath), low lights and sounds, ignoring her, 'tricking' her by pretending to sleep upstairs, etc etc. Sometimes, some of these work and we think we've cracked it. Then she's at it again. She's perfect in every other way and sleeps through from 9pm or 10pm to 7am.

The advice we're getting divides into two camps: a) You're too soft, time to start controlled crying, or b) This is just what babies do, it'll sort itself out soon.

I feel 3 months is too early to start CC but am actually on the verge of trying it now. I also feel that no, it won't sort itself out and no, babies shouldn't be like this at this age. She's got into a habit and unless we stop it, it'll be the story of our lives for the next few years. I know people who's kids don't have their bedtime until 9pm or 10pm and evenings are havoc, I DO NOT want to be in that situation.

Please help before I start controlled crying (or maybe you recommend I do?!).

3rdnparty Fri 20-Sep-13 09:03:42

congratulations on your dd and her sleeping sounds amazing - ds all over the place til older - dh and I completely at sea about it tried all sorts of stuff as everyone elses baby seemed so much better ...after sometime of one handed eating, our best solution was a v simple bouncy chair on floor beside us or on the table (have big table) so he could see us which helped
bit like this ....

www.mothercare.com/Fisher-Price-Woodsy-Friends-Bouncer/434621,default,pd.html

15 weeks is a bit young for sleep training i think but we slowly edged ds to a sort of routine about 5months, mainly by trying to make sure he had naps during the day -which seemed to help him....hth

Madonna1987 Sat 21-Sep-13 18:19:03

This post reminds me of us... I think I was rather delusional/ led on by other mothers. I remember getting low that my daughter wouldnt nap much... Yet slept 6-6 at night! Those days are looong gone! I now have a bambino that doesnt nap much and wakes rojnd 3am regularly...and wakes from 1-10 times when put to bed... The joys! You really do not know what you got until its gone.... But it is only for a wee while. smile I often yearn for evenings of peace after long days entertaining a 5mo who doesnt nap much, so I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting that... But expecting it is not realistic in our experience. Babies are hatd work but deffo worth it smile

Madonna1987 Sat 21-Sep-13 18:25:38

Ps my dd walkes from 6pm- 8pm up to 10 times its been known... We tried everything but it just seems this is what she does some nights. Some nights she'll go to sleep straight away (rare) i have iften been advised to try cc... I rember when she was really young she would cry evernight wether we held her or put her in her moses... So to prevent her get over heated etc we just put her in her moses and let her cry but held her dummy in and soothed her until she slept. There was nothing else we could do. That was hard enough, i couldnt personally cope with cc ... But its whatever works for you. Obviously wait till 6 months though.

MarianneEnjolras Sat 21-Sep-13 18:27:36

Why can't you eat dinner on the sofa with a cushion and the baby?

I only ever dropped food on ds once or twice honest wink

teacher123 Sat 21-Sep-13 19:48:17

I did exactly what leviticus did. It meant long evenings resettling in a completely darkened room, but it worked. Even now at 17mo we get evenings where he takes longer to settle, but he chatters away to himself and rarely cries at bedtime.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 21-Sep-13 20:00:10

My DS slept through from 10pm - 8am at 2 1/4 years! I think your husband needs to radically change his expectations.

I found it useful to put baby in a Kari-me sling, walk around to settle, then sit down at the table and put a napkin over his head to eat. Both hands free to eat, and if he got fractious I could just stand up and jiggle a bit.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sat 21-Sep-13 20:03:33

Ps. Children hijack your entire life don't they? I can't imagine life ever being as it was without children...but then I wouldn't want it to be.

HadALittleFaith Sat 21-Sep-13 20:06:27

DD was very similar to this (she's now 5 months). Instead of crying though she cluster fed. And fed. And fed. Sometimes from 4pm-10.30! However she would then sleep through til 6! We worked round it by batch cooking one handed meals (chilli, spag Bol) so I could feed and eat at the same time. I would put my pjs on while DH did bath because otherwise she'd scream for the 5 minutes it took! Honestly, it's got easier with time. She is BF but now has one bottle of formula in the evening which helps her settle. Bed time gradually moved back from 10pm to around 8pm now. Early enough that we have been able to go out off dinner! Hang in there, it will get better smile

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 21-Sep-13 20:07:30

As the majority of said your baby is an amazing sleeper. And really, sitting cuddling a baby of an evening - well there are worse things to do.

Just go with it and rejoice that you are getting unbroken sleep at night.

mummyxtwo Sat 21-Sep-13 20:09:19

Ah who has given you the idea that 15wo babies go to bed at 7pm?! We all have the odd friend with a baby who sleeps for Britain, but that is an entirely unrealistic bedtime for the majority of babies that age. I'm afraid my dc's didn't go to bed before 9pm until they were 6mo and weaning and had dropped a milk feed! At 15wo I was giving dd2 her last milk feed at around 9pm and then she went to bed between 9.30 and 10pm. It was only when she was fully weaned that she started going to bed at the same time at my ds1, at 7pm. Don't try to get her to go to bed, if she is wide awake. Put her in a little bouncy chair downstairs where she can watch you. She might doze in it if she's tired or just prefer to watch what's going on. Dd2 used to have an uncanny knack of shouting just when we sat down to eat our dinner. Not much for it but to eat meals that you can shovel in one-handed! Don't ever consider CC before the age of 6mo, that would just be cruel and inappropriate, and has been shown to be bad for babies' stress levels if done prior to 6mo.

mykingdomforasleep Sat 21-Sep-13 20:09:32

It's what babies do.

Can you get your DH to read up on baby stages etc as you're likely to hit the 4 month sleep regression soon - my sleeping through-er now waking every 2 hours - and unless he understands why this happens he will probably panic and push for sleep training.

Nothing is set in stone and nothing that happens now is setting up lifelong habits!

Babies change so quickly - I am on DC2 and I'd completely forgotten this stage for e.g so don't go by what friends with babies the same age admit to, or those with older children can't remember.

I was shocked to find a diary entry of when DC1 was 6 months to see he had 6 tiny naps a day and didn't settle for the night until about 8. I would have told you he was on 3 regular naps a dsy by then with an early bedtime and would have believed myself!

cupcake78 Sat 21-Sep-13 20:09:50

My 12 week old is exactly the same! It's just the way they roll op. I have every meal with her either on my knee or dh and I do shifts. She starts to settle around 9 but doesn't sleep till after 10. She wakes once or twice a night, sometimes sleeps through.

Ds settled every night at 8pm but woke up at least 4 times a night till he was over 3! I know which way I'd rather have it.

Keep up the routine. Cc at such a young age is a waste of time and emotions. Be grateful your not awake all night. If its still the same at 9months to a year old then do something about it.

vix206 Sat 21-Sep-13 20:15:53

Sounds amazing to me!! At 3 months my DS was hijacking our evenings and waking every 90 mins through the night for a feed. I expected better too but had to roll with it. He settled down into a better routine at 7 months but, honestly it sounds to me like you've got it good OP!!smile

Normal! Totally normal. You won't get evenings back as a regular thing for another few months, but this stage is so short in the whole of her childhood that you really shouldn't stress about it, just ride it out and enjoy her company!

HadALittleFaith Sat 21-Sep-13 20:53:51

Oh yes and the flip side of my 5mo going to sleep at 8pm is generally two wake ups overnight!

waterrat Sun 22-Sep-13 08:47:36

My god your baby is an absolutely amazing sleeper - at that age mine was waking for feeds during the night as well as falling asleep at about 9 - have you considered that if U manage to get her to settle through cc she would start waking at 4am ??

Please stop worrying about this and accept her natural bedtime means you get to actually sleep all night!

I would rather have my baby with me in the evening than up half the night crying or feeding. - enjoy it it won't last

My 2 year old slept for 3 hours in total last night.

You need to radically readjust your expectations. And google "four month sleep regression" so you're not completely unprepared.

MyBoysAreFab Sun 22-Sep-13 09:01:00

My babies fed constantly all day every day, went to bed late and woke constantly in the night. I would have given anything for them to have slept like yours does!

She is only tiny, she is not playing up, she is just doing what babies do and it is perfectly normal for them not to go down until later in the evening. Enjoy her and relax - put her on the couch between you while you both eat, take turns to see to her while watching tv etc. She will settle into a better routine when she is a bit bigger. No controlled crying until she is a good bit older. My motto was "this too shall pass".

Warning - wait till she is a teenager - then they go to bed later than you do!

stantonherzlinger Sun 22-Sep-13 09:04:04

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Rooners Sun 22-Sep-13 09:06:43

OMG this is so crazy! Hijacking our evenings - well babies do that, they hijack your entire life and that's Ok you know! After all they didn't choose to be born - it's a bit like inviting a tiger into your living room and then complaining that it won't lie down on the sofa and engage in rational conversation with you smile

Your H has massive expectations. A baby isn't something that needs to be 'cracked'. I get so sad when I read threads like this. I'm very glad you posted - at least you know now that you don't need to do any sort of sleep training and your instincts about cuddling her at any time of day or night are correct, and normal and mean you are a very good parent.

Keep on keeping on and give her as much love and attention as she asks you for. She sounds happy and lovely smile

BikeRunSki Sun 22-Sep-13 09:13:52

Friends, mums at baby groups, Facebook updates - they only tell you the good stuff.

A three month old that sleeps 10pm - 7 am is not what babies do, its brliiant.

My evenings are highjacked by a 5 year old...

TeaCuresEverything Sun 22-Sep-13 09:58:19

10-7 would have been heaven to me when ds was 15 weeks. He used to only sleep in 2-3 hr intervals! I didnt get 10-7 from him till he was 17 months!

Now, he is almost 3yo and sleeps 7.30-7.30. You do get your evenings back eventually.

Orangeanddemons Sun 22-Sep-13 10:07:49

Sounds like my 7 year old dd. I would love an evening......

PreciousPuddleduck Sun 22-Sep-13 10:26:24

We kept our DD downstairs with us until she was 4 mo. Dinners were always a nightmare!! At 4 months she was put to sleep in her crib at 8 and then had a bottle at midnight and she slept through till 6/7.
I understand how hard it is with PFB as you feel this stage will last forever, enjoy your baby, it gets a lot easier [hugs]

Some people at baby groups thought we were terrible parents because we would cuddle ds1 on our laps then when he nodded off we would cover him on the sofa and just not make to much noise in the evening.
Then I'd take him up for last feed at 10 which was a dream feed.
So the baby was asleep, but we hadn't 'put him to bed' at 7 and then spent the whole evening going up and down the stairs..... which some of the people criticising me did.

I find they have their own sleep patterns at that age. You may find that if you get her to settle in bed and sleep by 7 or 8,she is waking up earlier. This is what happened with ds1 and I much preferred interrupted evenings to being woken up at 5am.

Our evenings are now completely destroyed by lively 8 and 7 year olds ...

But we had a few years in between where they would crash into bed exhausted at 7.30pm and sleep till 8.... sigh.

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